Coming Thursday, 13 September, the University of St. Maarten will kick-off its public Seminar Series for the 2018-2019 academic year with lectures on Sustainable Small Island Development, Environment and Agro-ecology.
Guest speakers include Nature Foundation’s Tadzio Bervoets, social researcher and civil servant Arjen Alberts and Eco St. Maarten Agricultural Research and Development Foundation’s Denicio Wyatte.
According to USM President, Dr. Antonio Carmona, the seminars series is a call to house and promote the production of knowledge, science, research and ideas of innovation already flourishing in St. Maarten and throughout the region, with the purpose of building a university that caters to the social needs, collective hopes and well-being of the country. “Through these seminars USM is reaching out to the community and we are asking ourselves: what kind of university and what sort of programmes will help place St. Maarten on a healthy, sustainable path to recovery’, Carmona said in written statements to the press over the weekend.
The USM Seminar Series is placed in the context of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda, endorsed by BAK and UNESCO St. Maarten.
“For us it is important to congregate local experts, professionals and activists whom, together with the general public and government, can generate guidelines for academic programmes, research, future courses and publications on the most pressing issues affecting the people of St. Maarten’, Carmona declared.
In 2018 the Government of St. Maarten initiated a public discussion on the UN Agenda 2030, whereby countries commit to reaching 17 goals related to equitable, diverse, and inclusive socio-economic development, healthy environments and preparedness for climate change. This year USM will hold public debates with the transversal SDGs by offering once-a-month seminars on (mental) health, science, technology and innovation, law, language, economy and the arts.
This Thursday, at USM, Denicio Wyatte will talk on food security and ecological farming, which has become a growing topic especially after the passing of Hurricane Irma. Arjen Alberts will speak on tourism and current challenges to small island development, while Tadzio Bervoets covers Island/Marine Ecology and the impact of our current development model.
Following the talks, there will be room for structured public dialogue whereby everyone can participate. Doors to the conference room open at 6.30 PM.